FibrePoynt has received funding from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) to expand its high-speed fixed broadband solution for low-income communities.
FibrePoynt offers wireless Internet access through strategically placed access points called Janus Consumer Access Points (JCAPs).
These dual-beam Wi-Fi JCAPs use a “corridor coverage” system which covers streets in a neighbourhood rather than delivering blanket coverage through a single tower.
The FibrePoynt technology uses passive beam forming, beam pattern diversity, and beam shaping to get the best possible signal to the home units.
The system can provide speeds of 100Mbps to residences which each have an outdoor antenna linked to an indoor router as Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).
The infrastructure cost is around 40% lower than fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and the CPE installation is around 50% cheaper per consumer.
The most valuable aspect of the service is that rollout across a suburb can happen in one month or less with little disruption to residents.
The Technology Innovation Agency said the FibrePoynt technology will help South Africa to reach its strategic broadband imperatives.
It will also help to make the Internet accessible to all South Africans, irrespective of their socio-economic status and geographic location.
“Low to middle income peri-urban and township households can now connect to the internet which was not possible with current technologies,” the TIA said.
Last year FibrePoynt rolled out services in Zwartkop X8 in a combined effort between Lerumo Holdings, Poynting, BlueNova, and WiLink.
The trial was a success and demonstrated the successful FibrePoynt implementation in a real-world setting.
“The technology promises a cost effective, faster-rollout, and high-speed alternative deployment of broadband infrastructure in areas that were previously deemed unfeasible,” TIA said.
As part of the development of the product, FibrePoynt has launched HomePoynt – a derivative innovation spun out of the core FibrePoynt wireless technology.
“HomePoynt is a last-mile connectivity solution that has the potential to bring down internet costs to R89 a month for uncapped Wi-Fi,” TIA said.
The technology has been developed with a key focus on townships, peri-urban and small towns thus closing digital divide in under-served areas.
HomePoynt provides connectivity to homes in a peer-to-peer setup where there are backhaul networks, but no last-mile access.
FibrePoynt has also developed an internet service provider (ISP) model, termed Kasiwave, which transfers skills to the local communities to build and maintain the network infrastructure.
The goal is to ensure that 20% of the revenue generation remains in the local communities.
What the system looks like and how it works
The JCAP consists of two back-to-back units that can radiate in different directions, a solar panel and a lithium battery to ensure that it works autonomously.
At each JCAP there is a power unit with a BlueNova lithium battery with a solar panel.
Each JCAP can cover about 30 to 60 houses depending on the area and the layout of the street.
Each house is provided with a Wireless Network Terminal (WNT).
Every JCAP has autonomous back-up power, but the system can also work with the AC Power. The Autonomous Power Back up consists of a Solar Panel and BlueNova Lithium Battery.